CFP: Scattered Communities: Performance, War, and Displacement

24 October, 2015

CFP: Scattered Communities: Performance, War, and Displacement


Seminar at the 2016 conference of the Canadian Association for Theatre Research in Calgary, Alberta, Canada from May 28-31 2016.


Coordinators: Dr. Kirsten Sadeghi-Yekta (University of Victoria), Matt Jones (University of Toronto)


Of course, I was a refugee once and one doesn’t easily forget something like that,” an elderly German woman told a TV news correspondent recently as she and hundreds of others waited to welcome incoming refugees to Munich. This performance of solidarity reminds us how recently the settled communities of Europe were themselves sites of displacement. As borders have been climbed over, torn down, tunnelled through, and sailed across, governments have turned to more military means to police them. At the same time, borders are increasingly irrelevant to insurgent fighters and drone aircraft alike. The border may no longer be a clear marker of where conflicts begin and end but they continue to draw violent lines between populations caught on either side of them.


What does this massive movement of populations across national and continental borders mean for performance? What kind of theatre do we see emerging in the midst of conflict and displacement? What happens to performance traditions as they travel across these borders? How does performance continue to link communities that are scattered by conflict? And as borders are increasingly ignored, how, as Yana Meerzon argues (2012), might the experience of exile also be liberatory, opening up new opportunities for creativity?


We invite papers that examine the role of performance in relation to conflict and displacement. Papers could respond to the following themes, or others:


  • Theatre in conflict zones, refugee camps, and other sites of displacement
  • Interculturalism and interweaving performance cultures
  • Racism and anti-refugee xenophobia
  • Performances of solidarity
  • Humanitarianism and imperialism
  • The current refugee crisis and the spectre of history
  • Deterritorialization and liberation
  • Terror and performance
  • The security state, surveillance, and performance
  • Drone strikes and performance


Please send an abstract of 250-300 words and a short bio by January 15, 2016 to and A maximum of ten papers will be selected.


Participants will be asked to submit a draft of 10-15 pages by May 1. Papers will then be exchanged and participants will write a one-page analysis of one other paper, including a number of questions for the author. The seminar will function as a workshop, serving to develop the papers further, link them to current scholarship, and discover common ground between them.

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